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Scality opens Ring for close scrutiny

First object storage to be openly performance tested

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Out goes Symmetrix

He cites a customer, Time Warner Cable, that has replaced an EMC array with a all-HDD Scality Ring: "Our Ring is being deployed as primary storage at Time Warner Cable for their consumer email platform entirely on HDD. No SSDs are required for this highly interactive application where we are replacing an EMC Symmetrix with over 1PB of data."

Lecat sums up storage system performance and how Scality's Ring compares like this: "There are really three measures of performance: IOPS, throughput and latency. Very often, it is assumed that a storage system which has one has the other, but they are three totally different metrics. Our architecture has excellent IOPS and throughput due to its entirely parallel design, and we do not even need SSD or fast HDD for that, nearline-SAS is enough. Our weak point is latency. The ESG test proves that we don’t do to bad on our weakest point, actually we even do very good as far as unstructured data applications are concerned."

"For virtual machines and relational database [applications], latency is a real issue since they have many serial operations. We leave this market to the likes of Pure Storage and SolidFire."

There's more performance testing that could be done, such as an SPECsfs benchmark, and a look at much larger server node numbers, but there's enough in the ESG report to show that the Ring object storage system is on a level with traditional SAN arrays and can serve tens of thousands of small objects, such as MP3 files, faster than high-performance computing arrays. The idea that object storage is slower than traditional filer and SAN arrays can be put out to grass. ®

Bootnote

1. Scality's Ring is implemented with a two-tier architecture, with the first tier using replication as a data protection mechanism, and leveraging fast disks for performance, and a second tier using erasure code technology to protect most of the data. Tier 2 uses cheaper SATA or nearline SAS disks.

The performance of the tier 2 disks in Scality's Ring comes from heavy use of parallelism, and is helped by the Erasure Code technology implementation having no penalty on read. The index of data on each node of tier 2 storage resides in memory. With this architecture, 10 per cent of the data, which represents 80 per cent of the requests, resides in tier 1 and provides less than 10ms object delivery time, while 90 per cent of the data representing 20 per cent of the requests resides on the cheaper second tier and delivers objects in 40ms with nearline SAS drives.

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